TEAM TARGET READY FOR TEXAS
Target Chip Ganassi Racing Firestone 550 Advance Notes
Race: Firestone 550 Saturday, June 8
Drivers: @scottdixon9 @dariofranchitti
Cars: No. 9 Target Honda and No. 10 Belkin Honda
Track: Texas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
TV: ABC Network (8:30 PM ET)
Social: @TCGRTeams #TeamTarget
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW THAT
Pair of fours: Scott Dixon, with a pair of fourth-place finishes last weekend at the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit, was the biggest points mover of the weekend – from eighth in the standings to fourth.
Two in Two Races: Dixon and Mike Conway were the only two drivers to finish in the top-five in each race at Detroit.
The Biggest Movers: The Target drivers advanced 10 combined spots in the championship title race over the weekend, with Dixon jumping from eighth to fourth and Dario Franchitti moving from 17th to 11th. Detroit marked the biggest move for team Target through seven race weekends in 2013.
Top-Five Leader: Dixon leads all IZOD IndyCar Series drivers with four top-five finishes through seven races following the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit.
Tied for Seventh: Franchitti’s second pole of the season at the Chevrolet Indy at Detroit (Dual 1) tied him on the all-time pole list with Sebastien Bourdais (31). Up next on the list is Michael Andretti with 32.
Streak for No. 9: Dixon is second with 145 straight starts in the IZOD IndyCar Series list, -58 starts behind leader Tony Kanaan.
Four in Six: The Firestone 550 on the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) on Sunday kicks off a spate of four ovals in six weeks – one intermediate (Texas), one superspeedway (Pocono) and two short ovals (Milwaukee and Iowa).
Anniversary Race: The Firestone 550 will be the 25th IZOD IndyCar Series race at Texas Motor Speedway dating to the track’s opening in 1997. Underscoring the competitiveness of the series, there hasn’t been a repeat winner in the past seven years. Through the years, 18 different drivers have won the 24 races.
Off to a good start: In 29 starts at TMS, TCGR drivers have rolled off the grid in the top-three 11 times.
Oval facts: Since 1990, TCGR has made 413 starts on ovals, earning 45 wins, 45 poles, 164 top-five finishes (39.7%), 263 top-10 finishes (63.6%), 108 podiums and 21 double podiums.
Success at Texas: In 29 starts at TMS, TCGR drivers have amassed three wins (2002: Jeff Ward; 2008: Dixon; 2011: Franchitti (Texas1), three poles (2003: Tomas Scheckter; 2008: Dixon; 2009: Franchitti), 13 top-fives and 17 top-10s.
Magic Number Eight: Since 1993, 11 drivers (including two TCGR drivers) have won the eighth race of the season and also won the championship. They are: Franchitti (2011, Milwaukee; 2007, Iowa), Sebastien Bourdais (2007, Edmonton; 2005, San Jose ), Sam Hornish Jr. (2006, Kansas; 2002, Richmond), Tony Kanaan (2004, Nashville), Cristiano da Matta (2002, Toronto), Buddy Lazier (2000, Kentucky), Gil de Ferran (2000, Portland), Greg Ray (1999, Pikes Peak), Alex Zanardi (1998, Detroit), Kenny Brack (1998, Pikes Peak), Al Unser Jr. (1994, Cleveland).
Honda Sweeps in Detroit: Honda swept the podium at the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit last weekend. Honda drivers took first and third in Dual 1, and the top-five places, and six of the top seven in Dual 2.
Follow Team Target on Twitter: Continue to follow Target Chip Ganassi Racing on their official team Twitter page. Find in-race updates and weekly news on the No.9 and No.10 teams throughout the 2013 season by following “@TCGRTeams”.
CGRT Mobile App: Download the Chip Ganassi Racing Teams mobile app for the latest driver news, event information, social media updates and exclusive content. Head to the iTunes store and check it out: http://bit.ly/YGJQxf.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
@dariofranchitti “crazy day @detroitgp lucky to get through some of those scrapes! Had to conserve fuel most of the race, car was fast again thanks @TCGRTeams”
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR TEXAS
Scott Dixon and No. 9 Target Team
Last Time in Texas: Dixon started fourth but immediately began working his way to the front of the field, taking over the lead on lap 21. Within three laps, the driver of the No. 9 had opened up a 2.6-second lead over second. He would remain on point for the majority of the 228-lap event, leading 133 of the opening 174 laps. As a late run wore on, Dixon began to lose the handle on the No. 9, battling a loose race car. Dixon would make contact with the wall on lap 174, forcing him to retire from the race. The No. 9 would be credited with 18th.
Detroit Dual 1 Race Rewind: Dixon started Dual 1 on the inside of the eighth row after qualifying the No. 9 Target Honda 15th on the 2.36-mile temporary street circuit. On lap 1 of 70 Dixon was forced to pit for a rear wing after the No. 2 car had contact with the rear of the No. 9 car. On lap 3 under caution the No. 9 car pit for a second time to check the front wing and topped off fuel, sending Dixon to the back of the field for the second time. On lap 64 while in third, the team made their final stop and returned to the track to finish in fourth.
Detroit Dual 2 Race Rewind: Dixon started the race on the inside of the fourth row after qualifying the No. 9 Target Honda car seventh. The No. 9 car started experiencing shifting problems in the race, and on lap 28, Dixon held second until the team pit under caution on lap 29. With seven laps to go the No. 9 car passed for fourth, where it would ultimately finish, even after experiencing late-race suspension problems due to a hole in the rear of the car.
Career at Texas: In 13 starts at TMS, Dixon has earned one win and pole (2008), six podiums and has led 256 laps. He has led laps in six of his 13 starts at the track, leading a high of 133 laps (2012). The driver of the No. 9 car has completed 2,468 of 2,563 laps run at TMS in his career (96.2%).
Oval Success: In 123 starts on oval tracks, Dixon has 17 wins, 13 poles and has led 3,373 laps.
In the Points: With the results in Detroit, Dixon is now up to fourth in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 186 markers, -20 points behind co-leaders Helio Castroneves and Marco Andretti.
The Ice Man Returns: The two-time IZOD IndyCar Series Champion (2003, 2008) and 2008 Indianapolis 500 Winner returns in 2013 for his fifth season alongside four-time Champion (2007, 2009, 2010, 2011) and three-time Indianapolis 500 Winner (2007, 2010, 2012) Franchitti. Dixon is tied with Rick Mears for 10th place on the all-time Indy car wins list (1909-Present) with 29 victories and is tied with Bobby Rahal and Rex Mays for 16th on the all-time poles list with 18.
Go with What you Know: 2013 marks Dixon’s 12th year with Team Target – the longest tenure for any driver in team history (1990-Present).
Dario Franchitti and No. 10 BelkinTeam
Last Time in Texas: Franchitti rolled off second, but fought the handling on the No. 10 Honda from the drop of the green. On lap 21, Franchitti pit under green-flag conditions in order to make major adjustments to the front wing. He returned to the track in 23rd, one lap down. Franchitti managed to avoid the attrition that impacted a large portion of the field, finishing the night in 14th.
Detroit Dual 1 Race Rewind: Franchitti started the race on the inside of the sixth row after qualifying the No. 10 Suave Honda on pole position, but started 11th due to a grid spot penalty for an unapproved engine change incurred at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Round 5. On lap 7 Franchitti worked his way up from eighth to fifth. With seven laps to go, the No. 10 car worked its way from 12th up to seventh, and with six laps to go Franchitti fought to keep sixth, where he would ultimately finish.
Detroit Dual 2 Race Rewind: Franchitti started the race on the outside of the eighth row after qualifying the No. 10 Suave Honda 16th. On lap 1 of 70, Franchitti was able to advance to 13th. On a lap 16 restart, the No. 10 car moved up to 10th, and on a lap 24 restart, Franchitti was able to maneuver to third by lap 28. On a lap 38 restart, Franchitti held third and with seven laps to go moved to fifth, where he would ultimately finish the race.
Career at Texas: In 10 starts at TMS, Franchitti has earned one win (2011), two poles, two podiums and has led 236 laps. He has led laps in five of his 10 starts at the track, leading a high of 110 laps in his 2011 victory. The driver of the No. 10 car has completed 1,920 of 1,940 laps run at the track in his career (98.9%).
Oval Office: Franchitti has participated in 132 oval races, earning 16 victories, 14 poles and leading 3,383 laps.
In the Points: With the results in Detroit, Franchitti moved up to 11th in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 140 markers, -66 points behind co-leaders Helio Castroneves and Marco Andretti.
Rarified Air: Dario is one of only five drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 and the series title in the same season more than once. By winning the 2012 Indianapolis 500, he became just the 10th driver in history to win the race three times.
ONE TEAM, SIX CARS, THREE SERIES
Chip Ganassi has been a fixture in the auto racing industry for over 25 years and is considered one of the most successful as well as innovative owners the sport has anywhere in the world. Today his teams include three cars in the IZOD IndyCar Series, two cars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and one Daytona Prototype in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. Overall his teams have 15 championships and over 150 victories, including four Indianapolis 500s, a Daytona 500, a Brickyard 400 and five Rolex 24 At Daytonas. Ganassi boasts state-of-the-art race shop facilities in Indianapolis and Brownsburg, Ind. and Concord, N.C., with a corporate office in Pittsburgh, Penn.
For more information log onto: www.chipganassiracing.com